The Paper

July 7, 1943

Believe it or not–I am back in the editorial business again as associate editor of the regimental newspaper. The Colonel was dissatisfied with the paper because it lacked life & humor so a reorganization of the staff took place and I was drafted as an associate editor. Right now the big dispute is whether the men are sufficiently interested in world news or whether the new paper should give more space to personals, jokes, humor, etc.

Incidentally, we have a new Colonel. On the second day of fighting [May 12th] Colonel Earle was killed. I have already written you that all enemy resistance has ceased with the complete defeat of the Japs. All your old friends are well–even Jack Carroll who has recovered from a bullet in the rumble-seat for which he received the Purple Heart.

Attu

August 4, 1943

Dear Harry

I was greatly surprised to learn that you had been evacuated to Letterman. I thought you were still in New Zealand or Australia. What d’ya think of Munda?

If you received any of my previous letters you already know that I emerged without a scratch and without any medals, but there will be plenty of opportunities for medals before this is over.

We are taking things easy noew. It’s like living in garrison–minus a few comforts and conviences. The chow is very good–there are frequent shows–we hear short wave audio broadcasts–hot showers once in a while. If the mail service was better we could be quite happy here.

Attu, Alaska Territory

October 22, 1943

While onboard ship I had plenty of opportunity to practice on the violin. The ship’s library had a collection of musical instruments. I really enjoyed myself and surprised everyone (and even entertained some) by playing the violin. There were also banjos and guitars, and we spent many pleasant hours playing and singing on the back of the ship as we rolled along o’er the deep blue sea. There was plenty of competition from a number of real “fiddlers” whose square dances and Arkansas-Tennessee hill-billy music proved to be more popular with the men than any other type of music.

Except for the blue fox, I know of no other animals on the island [Attu]. There were of course many varieties of wild birds, and the cold clear streams were choked with giant salmon and other fish.

There are no trees on the Island, but it is carpeted with tundra. Just like a thick colorful Persian rug. The Tundra covers the rugged terrain of Attu. The tundra is as thick as a mattress, and interwoven are millions of tiny flowers of all colors which begin to bloom as soon as the snow had melted.